Artists and the Sea


Joaquín Sorolla, one of my favorite artists, painted this in 1904 and simply called it “Mar.”

Artists turn to the sea again and again for inspiration – and it never disappoints. The awesome nature of the sea is spellbinding. It is large and powerful, beautiful and elegant, treacherous and threatening, inviting and sublime. It has the power to harm and sustain. Everyday we depend on it to enrich our lives. All these things have been recorded for us by painters.

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Getting Ready for Spring

Spring is such a beautiful time of year. Full of promise and new life. Also filled with art! Here in Columbia, we will start the season off with “Columbia Open Studios,” presented by 701 CCA. I know many of you are not in my area, but many of you are! Open Studios is such a great way to visit with the artists. When you come to Stormwater Studios you get to visit with 8 at one time – including moi!

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Watching Paint Dry

"Blue Mesa Memory," 24x48, oil on canvas. This is the final painting. It has been in my studio on and off the easel for a long time. It is finally ready to sing it's song.

Sometimes I watch paint dry while waiting to put a final varnish, hooks, and wire before I give it to you for viewing – in its final state. Sometimes, the paint must dry before I can take the next necessary steps to complete the original vision. Then there are the times that a painting must sit and dry while I decide what the next steps are going to be. I have all that going on this week.

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Litchfield – C-flat Series #1 – Sunrise

I spent a beautiful Saturday afternoon painting the sky. It is very wet now. I will make another pass over it when it has dried. So far so good. I think I can hear the birds waking up and looking for breakfast. A New Horizon - Litchfield - C-flat - Series - Michel McNinch - original coastal landscape paintings

Sunrise at Litchfield Beach is one of the most glorious events I have ever witnessed. I try to see it at least once a year with the Ladies of the Traveling Paints. I have painted it many times – en plein air and in the studio. This week there was progress on my current Litchfield painting (30×40 inches). I have made 5 images so you can view the progress. Thank you very much for your interest in my painting practice.

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Fresh Canvas

A cute face and a fresh start. A new painting of a River Otter begins.

The home studio is crawling with artwork. My metal leaf series is coming alive with fresh critters all the time. Channeling my inner Beatrix Potter. This friendly River Otter makes his first appearance on the easel.

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Finishing What I Started

"Flora," 12x12, oil on silver leaf - this little honey bee needed a few details. Now, she is ready for the world. Say hello to Flora.

Finishing what I started this week. The paintings laying around my studio that need final touches have my attention. They need to be finished so that my new work can have all my attention. Hope your week will be buzzing with creativity. I’ll be painting.

Thank you; I appreciate your being here.

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Variations on a Theme

Four shows in 2024. One theme. Nature can soothe, and it is available to everyone.

Busy painting in the studio. Two finished this week. Can I keep the pace? We shall see.

First I am working on paintings for Artista Vista / Art Day at Stormwater show. April 19-20.

The variation on my theme here is the little lives that surround our studios in our oasis. As Karen Murphy plants with these little ones in mind, we see more and more feel comfortable in our gardens. I am painting the animals I have seen on our grounds. This week, a cicada with wings spread.

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Learning Something New

My student and friend, Karen Murphy, shared with the Wednesday classes a bit of Art History. She told us about Wassily Kandinsky, who was an art theorist, and widely considered the “father of abstraction.” So, we gave it a whirl. It was fun letting go of the reality of form and light. We did our own take on circles and color.

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A Sister’s Stroll

Recently, my sister came and spent some time with me in my studio. She took many photos, and I asked her to share them with you. It was interesting to see Stormwater from someone else’s point of view. Situated smack dab in the middle of downtown Columbia, SC, it is a thriving little oasis. Take a look.

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VISTA LIGHTS 2023 – Party Pics

Stormwater Studios Open for Vista Lights 2023 - Robert got a great shot of my open door lit at night!

It is all over but the memories, but this year Vista Lights was a blast. Here are some of the highlights. Thank you for looking in this week. Hope you enjoyed the look into my painting practice. For those of you who stopped by and especially those who took a painting home, many thanks. It is a pleasure to paint for you.

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Light it Up!

This week I have been getting ready for our annual Vista Lights celebration. Picking up from the framers, getting last minute pieces finished up. Cleaning the studio. I have updated my website with all available work. Here are a few new pieces that will be ready for the show.

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